The VBS staff gave us some "outtakes" mugshots of our well-adjusted boys.
Elijah and Emily showing off their panda ears
Ian decorated his box with a truck made of gems and ribbon.

Woo hoo! Survived Vacation Bible School week! It began a while back, while I was sitting at one of the round, plastic, forearm-scuffing tables at church, chewing a mouthful of potluck. Two VBS packets appeared in front of my face. Wait. This is trickery. This is the same tactic I use on my boys: bewilder them with colorful choices and stuff their mouth full of tasty food so they can’t object. My eyes dart back and forth as I visualize the logistics of each job, slightly distracted by my brain waltzing in cuisine mode. I pointed to the “snack packet.” I don’t remember what the other option was, but it might have been the drama. We’d stumbled through that one at least twice before, and as it turns out, we are NOT people organizers.

Fast forward to last Monday. Two moms and four boys divide my pre-calculated and sorted shopping lists and weave through Wallyworld, gathering ginormous amounts of cups, napkins and obscure snack foods. Hours before the program begins, the snack components are organized by day in the spacious church kitchen. We still don’t know if we will be preparing snacks for 15 kids or 80, but we assume it’s somewhere in the middle, and are almost positive we can make it all disappear.

A full evening doesn’t pass before I realize this is exactly where I want to be in this program. The snacks are simple, and I enjoy assembling them with the help of various preschoolers, teens and tweens who wander through the kitchen, and of course, Supermom Emily and our good-sport husbands. I like kids, but mostly from a distance, so staying behind the scenes and observing the Pandamania from behind a mixing bowl was perfect for me.

I especially adored watching my little guys participate for the first real time in their group. Even Elijah was fairly sociable, going without much complaint with various adoring girls and ladies who were helping me keep my hands free. When he needed a dose of mom, he knew just where to find me: behind the big steel table in the kitchen. He’d come zooming in, I think, just to make it sound like I was working much harder thank I really was. Crash! Clang! He tosses giant metal bowls everywhere. Woahh! Heyyy! I slip and slide across the wet tile to retrieve the spray bottle from my little squirt. He turns and cackles his way out the door to douse more victims in the lobby.

For the last night, a storm knocked out the power during the closing talk, so everyone circled up under the emergency flood lights as the pastors talked through a bullhorn. The kids thought it was a blast. Ian got up this morning and said he loved making gifts and Isaac wanted to go back to “play clothes church”.

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